Science Online 2012: A different kind of conference

In a few days, I’ll be flying from Boston to North Carolina for Science Online 2012. Here at JoVE, we attend a lot of conferences to find out what’s new in science, but so far, Science Online is shaping up to be like no conference I have attended before.

This probably has something to do with it being a science blogging conference. It’s already been blogged, tweeted and emailed so much that it’s hard to believe it’s not already happening. As Bora Zivkovic of Scientific American explains, Science Online is an “Unconference.” He notes that the best discussions at conferences have always happened in the hallway outside the lecture hall. So, why not make the hallway discussions the main event? And since this conference is specifically for the online community, there’s no reason why the discussion can’t start before any of the attendees’ flights’ touch down.

At JoVE, our goal is to accelerate the pace of scientific research, and part of that is making science more social. At the bottom of every article there is a comments section where scientists who watch the video-article can ask questions and suggest ideas. Maybe science needs to start making their conferences more social as well.

To read more about Science Online 2012, click here.

Life Science Marketing Sees Increasing Demand for Web Video

Video is recognized for its powerful ability to influence decisions in every stage of interaction with a company.  Video is considered 2nd only to word of mouth in its ability to influence purchasing decisions.

Cisco Vin study 2010As of 2009 greater than 80% of internet users watched web video.  Over the past 17 years we have witnessed the emergence and decline of many types of media.  Mediums such as FTP, Newsgroups, and peer-to-peer communications make up declining portions of traffic as a whole.  Video presently accounts for greater than 61% of total internet traffic and continues to climb.  By 2014 it is projected that greater than 90% of web traffic will account for video.

To highlight the importance of webvideo consider that more than 78%Cisco Vin Study of scientists currently view web video.  Video drives action by scientists in the form of referrals and click-throughs. When presented with video, 88% of scienstis took action as a result.

The life sciences typically lag other industries in the use of new marketing technologies.  Only 39% of scientists recall ever seeing a video about a product they use in the lab, while over 70% preferred to learn about products in video.  Web video presents itself as the future marketing to scientists, and we can take lessons learned by other industries and adapt them to our needs. (Bioinformatics LLC., 2009)

There is a strong and growing demand by scientists for web video.  Video can provide an effective marketing tool that is versatile and can be used in numerous applications within your customer life cycle.  Video is proven to engage current and prospective customers and provide an effective means of communicating complex information.

To learn more about video comunications and development, visit our marketing video learning page to see our presentation on “The Importance of Online Video.”



Why Do Scientists Publish?

Scientific marketing has been trending away from traditional marketing activities employed by other industries in the past 15 years.  This has been driven either by regulations or the nature of researchers/physicians as an audience to demand evidence on marketing claims.  To utilize and develop marketing using more credible resources, it is necessary to understand the role of peer-reviewed publishing.


Robert Hooke was the first curator of experiments for the Royal Society which published the first academic journal, “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society” in 1665.  Accompanying the emergence of scientific publishing was the radical acceleration of scientific progress, contributing to “The Renaissance.”

Particularly in the past 30 years, the number of journals and articles has increased rapidly,

R&D workforce and STM publishing

Figure 1: R&D workforce and STM publishing companion industries.

responding the growing number of research scientists.

Magazine vs. Journal

The process of publishing an article begins with a key opinion leader author that writes an article.  This article is sent to other key opinion leaders in the field for review.  Reviewers typically ask questions, and for revisions from the author.  After comments have been addressed the article can be accepted for publication by the journal.

A magazine is written and edited by journalists about science or scientists.  Articles are commissioned by an editor.  Its content is based on previously established knowledge or work.   The audience for a magazine is a mix between scientists and the general public.

A journal is written by scientists typically about their own work.  Articles are written on original research and new results or methods.  The work is reviewed by peers in the scientific community with established records of publication and research.  Peer-reviewed content is considered more trustworthy.  Journal articles are archived in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) which is indexed and searchable online by PubMed.  The audience drawn by a journal is typically only researchers and physicians.

What’s in it for the author?

Journal authors contribute to the overall body of knowledge available to the scientific community.  Colleagues can then produce and expand on the knowledge the result is advancement of the overall field.  Publication provides recognition within the field for the author and builds their reputation as a key opinion leader.

Authors are typically affiliated with a research institution, university or hospital.  It is common for an institution to require journal publication for tenure, advancement or fund allocation.  Government and private institutions that issue grants also base their awards on journal publications.


You should better understand the world of academic publishing.  For a visual presentation of how peer-reviewed publications are developed this video is informative:

Hopefully this clarifies why researchers are excited about utilizing peer-reviewed information and authoring publications.


To learn more visit us at:

JoVE Partners with Stanford for Medicine X

We are pleased to announce that JoVE will be partnering with Stanford University‘s Medicine X Conference to bring you groundbreaking research on the intersection of healthcare and social media.

“Stanford University has always been a nexus of innovation and has always been good at bridging the gap between academia and emerging technology,” said Medicine X Organizing Chairman, Dr. Larry Chu. “Now we are applying this to healthcare.”

The conference, which Dr. Chu said is an extension of the work Stanford started when it hosted Medicine 2.0 in Sept. 2011, will examine how social media, information technology, emerging and mobile technologies can be used to manage health and improve healthcare.

JoVE will help the already wide-reaching conference (last year there were attendees from 20 countries and six conferences) become even more international.

“One of the challenges we have is disseminating the information from the conference, given our outdated publication methodologies,” said Dr. Chu. Many of the speakers will be presenting their research visually, so Dr. Chu turned to JoVE, an expert in distributing peer-reviewed research in visual format.

Both the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) and Social Media Working Group (SMWG) will peer review all of the research-based submissions to Medicine X. Selected submissions will undergo an additional editorial review and be published in JoVE.

Abstracts for the conference will be accepted from Jan. 15 to April 15 through the Stanford Medicine X website.

1990 vs. 2012— Changes in the STM publishing industry and their effects on scientific and medical marketing

In the past 22 years we have witnessed a major shift in scientific publishing.  Changes in the way scientist’s access articles have a significant impact on the effectiveness of page advertisements and other forms of advertising in journals.

In 1990 researchers accessed information physically through their institutional library.  Readers subscribed to journals which they physically read.  In present day the majority of scientific articles are accessed online in PDF format.  This development reduced the effectiveness of the traditional page advertisement in print.

STM publishing advertising revenues

Revenue breakdown of STM publishers 1990 vs. 2012

Online banner advertisements were adopted with the advent of the online article.  The disadvantage to marketers; smaller presentation area, banner Ads are easily ignored.  The drop in costs and effectiveness is reflected in the changing revenue breakdown of STM publishers, decreasing from 38% in 1990 to 12% in 2012, with continued decreasing trends.

Increase marketing effectiveness

As a result of fundamental changes in the way published information is being accessed, we need to make changes in marketing to avoid losing the attention of researchers.  Journal articles are read and trusted by researchers.  Journal articles are permanently available to scientists.

Companies which contribute content to the scientific community through article publication create “pull” resources with useful content, in contrast to the “push” advertisement. Scientists being intelligent people are quite good at evaluating marketing clams.  Marketing messages and unsupported claims are quickly blocked out by scientists.

 Creating published content

There are several routes that can be taken to produce published content.  Content can be contributed by either authoring or co-authoring articles with an academic instruction.  If your organization doesn’t have the expertise to author articles, preform applications with your product you can support the development of publications with educational or “sponsorship” grants.  These grants can cover the costs of publication for academic authors.  In some cases these grants cover travel fees and other costs associated with education.

JoVE on Peer Review Radio

Tomorrow at 1pm EST, JoVE Editorial Director Dr. Beth Hovey and Associate Editor Leiam Colbert will be discussing JoVE and academic publishing on Peer Review Radio! The program combines the latest science news with new music on the Ottawa-area radio station CHUO.

For those of you outside of the Ottawa area, you can stream the program here.

UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties, the radio segment has been rescheduled for next Tuesday at 1pm. Sorry for any confusion!

Power in Numbers

Dr. Eric Lander, founding director of the Broad Insititute and advocate of collaboration in science, was profiled in The New York Times earlier this week.

Though he received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in mathematics, Dr. Lander is now a leader in the field of genetics, and was a key contributor to the Human Genome Project. In 2009 he authored a video-article in JoVE entitled “A Method to Study the Three-Dimensional Architecture of Genomes.”

Power in Numbers

His Ph.D. is in pure mathematics, in a subfield so esoteric and specialized that even if someone gets a great result, it can be appreciated by only a few dozen people in the entire world. But he left that world behind and, with no formal training, entered another: the world of molecular biology, medicine and genomics.

Click on the polymer image to watch Dr. Lander's JoVE video!

As founding director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and M.I.T., he heads a biology empire and raises money from billionaires. He also teaches freshman biology (a course he never took) at M.I.T., advises President Obama on science and runs a lab.

Eric Lander — as a friend, Prof. David Botstein of Princeton, put it — knows how to spot and seize an opportunity when one arises. And he has another quality, says his high school friend Paul Zeitz: bravery combined with optimism.

To read the full article, click here.

A Healthier Cigarette?

From a health care perspective, the best cigarette is no cigarette, but for the millions of people who try to quit every year, researchers from Cornell University may have found a way to make smoking less toxic.

Using natural antioxidant extracts in cigarette filters, the scientists were able to demonstrated that lycopene and grape seed extract drastically reduced the amount of cancer-causing free radicals passing through the filter. The research will be the 1500th article published in JoVE.

“The implications of this technique can help reduce the hazardous effects of tobacco smoke,” said Dr. Boris Dzikovski, who co-authored the paper, “because free radicals are a major group of carcinogens.”

Scientists have tried to make safer cigarettes in the past. Haemoglobin (which transports oxygen in red blood cells) and activated carbon have been shown to reduce free radicals in cancer smoke by up to 90 percent, but because of the cost, the combination has not been successfully introduced to the market.

JoVE Content Director, Dr. Aaron Kolski-Andreaco, is very excited to be publishing this article as the journal’s landmark 1500th article.

“Practically, this research could lead to an alternative type of cigarette filter with a free radical scavenging additive,” said Kolski-Andreaco. “It could lead to a less harmful cigarette.”

To watch the full article, please click here.